We’re told to carry “all the necessary clothing, food and equipment at all times” but for day hiking in Ontario, what exactly does that mean?

By definition “necessary” means – required to be done, achieved, or present; needed; essential. So we could carry a small pack with food and water only; truly the only essential items.  That might not make for a comfortable, enjoyable hike though, especially if it rains or you get a blister.  We recommend that hikers anticipate the weather, their own abilities, the bug severity and pack accordingly. A well planned backpack can often make the difference between a great day and an uncomfortable one.

The following items are highly recommended for Ontario day hikes:

  • Rain gear
  • Sunhat (warm hat and gloves in cold weather)
  • Sunglasses
  • Nutritious food
  • Water
  • Insect repellent
  • Whistle
  • Personal first aid supplies (moleskin, band-aids)
  • Sun protective lotion, waterproof with high SPF (apply in the morning before going out)
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Personal I.D.
  • Car keys
  • Map
  • Compass

A cell phone or camera would also be great to capture some photos of your day!

Do you love to snack on GORP? It stands for “good old raisins and peanuts” but most of us get a lot more creative than that.  Try adding flaked coconut, pumpkin seeds, M & M’s, any dried fruit like apples and pears, almonds and beer nuts to give you some variety.

Remember the “Leave No Trace” concept? It includes:

  • Plan ahead and be prepared
  • Stay on the marked trail
  • Dispose of waste properly. Carry it in, carry it out. This includes apple cores.
  • Leave what you find
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors